Past and present pupils celebrate school's 160th year

The very first pupils at Ab Kettleby Primary School in the 1860sThe very first pupils at Ab Kettleby Primary School in the 1860s
The very first pupils at Ab Kettleby Primary School in the 1860s
Past and present pupils have celebrated the 160th academic year being chalked up at Ab Kettleby Primary School.

The school welcomed more than 100 visitors, including former and current teachers, pupils, parents and support and leadership staff.

Showcasing the school’s rich history, staff set up a chronological exhibition of historical photographs, stories and logbooks ranging from the 1860s to the present day.

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This included an excerpt from a late 1800s logbook which stated ‘the children are in pretty fair order, but the singing is capable of improvement’.

The commemorative tea towels created by pupils at Ab Kettleby Primary SchoolThe commemorative tea towels created by pupils at Ab Kettleby Primary School
The commemorative tea towels created by pupils at Ab Kettleby Primary School

To lead the walk down memory lane, the Head Boy, Head Girl and School Prefects ushered guests on tours around the school and ensured they signed the school’s visitors book and took photos to document the event for future generations to look back on.

Attendees included the school’s 1,000th registered pupil; Ms Pat Barry, a previous pupil and war evacuee in 1941; Peter Fisher and Ian Toon, both previous headteachers at the school in 1998-2006 and 2014-2020, respectively; Alan Hewson, former Mayor of Melton and grandson of a former pupil; and Liz Kotarba, who taught at the school between 1977 and 1997.

Headteacher, Andrea Brown, said: “It was fantastic to host the school’s 160th anniversary event, and an honour to be part of such a rich history.

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"Seeing past pupils, staff and community members come together to reminisce about their time at the school reminded us of how special it is to be in education and the impact school days have on peoples’ lives.

Staff at Ab Kettleby Primary School from the 1860s and the present dayStaff at Ab Kettleby Primary School from the 1860s and the present day
Staff at Ab Kettleby Primary School from the 1860s and the present day

Each pupil created their own bee emblem to match the school’s logo, which featured on tea towels sold at the event to fundraise for the school.

“I’m so proud of our pupils who were all so enthusiastic to learn about their school’s history, which they are now a part of,” added Ms Brown.

"I hope future generations will treasure our memories and time here as we have now done for those of the past.”

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A former pupil of Ab Kettleby Primary School commented that she had had the ‘loveliest afternoon’ and had seen people she hadn’t seen in 50 years.

Ab Kettleby Primary School is part of the Mowbray Education Trust family of schools.

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